‘We want to work.’
That’s the loud and clear message from these 10 Sheffield jobseekers - The Star’s first batch of unemployed people taking part in our campaign to help the city’s men and women back into jobs.
With the help of A4E, which delivers the Government’s Work Programme, the campaign aims to match skilled candidates with potential employers willing to give them the opportunity to shine.
Advisers will also be sharing tips on how the city’s 5,392 women and 11,744 men who are in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance can boost their prospects, as we follow the candidates on their journey.
Name: Joanne Berresford
Lives: Handsworth, Sheffield
Ideal job: Administrative work in education
Work history: Joanne worked as a school receptionist at the former Abbeydale Grange School in Millhouses for 24 years before its closure. It was there that she gained a host of administrative skills, dealing with everything from letters to parents and the school’s charity fund. The mother-of-two would love to take up a similar role but is willing to take any full-time job to get her back into the world of work and off benefits.
Joanne said: “Financially it has been very difficult. My children are older but they still live at home.
“I can adapt and I get on with people well, I am good as part of a team. And I just really want to work.”
Name: Keith Willey
Lives: Hackenthorpe, Sheffield
Ideal job: Hands-on work, vehicle operating, hospital porter
Work history: Worked in a Sheffield timber yard for eight years. Has operated fork-lift trucks and been involved with heavy good vehicles for the majority of his working life. He has been a volunteer with St John’s Ambulance for two decades.
Keith said: “I’ve worked at one or two timber yards in Sheffield. I am a loyal worker. When nothing was going on I used to do the fork lift or clean the yard.
“I’ve been looking at all sorts - portering in hospital, labouring. My ideal job would be something full time so I can pay my way and get myself back into the routine.”
Name: Giuseppe Costagliola
Lives: Totley, Sheffield
Ideal job: Plumber
Work history: Trained as a plumber in his native Italy after leaving school and went on to set up his own business. Moved to Sheffield in 2002 and opened a restaurant in Chesterfield Road, but sold up after three years to start another plumbing business. Sadly, it fell victim to the recession and he was forced to shut shop.
The father-of-two would love to get back into plumbing but is willing to do any job.
Giuseppe said: “I like hard work. I don’t care if it is Saturday or Sunday, or Christmas Day. It is critical the job I do to be able to go out to people and fix the problem when they need me to. I have a passion for plumbing.
“The qualifications I got were 20 years ago. I have so many years experience but they are hiring younger people with no experience. This is what I have been doing all my life. I am not too old.”
Name: Jess Hadfield
Lives: Parson Cross, Sheffield
Ideal job: Administrative work in an office or reception, bar work, retail work
Work history: Left school with good GCSEs, BTEC in art and design. Jess has been unable to find a full-time job since leaving education. She has had successful stints in temporary jobs, including working behind a bar, but wants help to get her first full-time job.
Jess said: “I’ve done sales and reception work and voluntary work, I did temporary stuff behind a bar, but I’ve not been able to get anything permanent. A4E have helped me to get a Level 2 certificate in retail and that involved a lot of really hands-on work experience.”
Name: Daryl Pryor
Lives: Lower Manor, Sheffield
Ideal job: Work in a warehouse, hands-on work
Work history: Left school and entered a college course to train to be a joiner. Did not complete the course but gained some qualifications and experience in the field. Daryl is keen to do a job which involves manual labour and using his hands. He is using his Jobseekers Allowance to pay for driving lessons to boost his employment prospects.
Daryl said: “I’d love to work in a warehouse or do factory work. Anything with my hands. I got a temporary job with the Royal Mail last year and I really enjoyed it.
“A lot of my mates are struggling to find work. It’s not easy. I have interviews and sometimes I never hear anything back.
“I would just say to an employer that I’m not scared of hard work.”
Name: Karen Vingoe
Lives: Gleadless, Sheffield
Ideal job: Administrative work in the public sector, office work
Work history: Karen has worked in the offices of some of the biggest local authorities in England - Manchester and Coventry to name just a couple. She has been out-of-work for two years, after a health scare left her unable to carry on working for her previous employer. She is now itching to get back into work and believes her strengths lie in adapting to different ways of working and getting to grips with technology.
Karen said: “I have a lot of experience. I have been on about 10 or 15 interviews but never had any luck. Sometimes they don’t get back to you. It’s very disheartening but I am determined to keep trying.”
Name: Toni Stones
Lives: Arbourthorne, Sheffield
Ideal job: Working in a bakery or catering industry
Work history: After leaving school Toni attended Sheffield’s Castle College to do a course in catering. During that time her skills in bread-making and cake-decorating won her prestigious honours and praise. She has experience of working in a bakery after holding down a Saturday job as a teenager and has also worked on a temporary contract at another establishment.
Toni said: “I had a Saturday job at a bakery and then I did three months at a bakery.
“My dream one day is to have my own business. I’ve been thinking about setting up my own market stall, but at the moment I just want to be able to go out to work in a bakery or catering business.
“I am at my best when I am in a kitchen. At college you’d get burns and cuts but it’d be worth it in the end. I am so proud of the awards I got. I was highly commended by Warburtons bread makers.”
Name: Paul Watkinson
Lives: Sheffield City Centre
Ideal job: Marketing or project management
Work history: Paul has a degree in Industrial Design and a Masters in Marketing and Management from Sheffield Hallam University. He previously worked as an account manager for a city-based graphic design agency. He was made redundant two years ago and has been looking for work in that field ever since. Paul is keen to get back into the world of marketing as he feels he is experienced with meeting the needs of clients.
Paul said: “It’s hard because it is a bit of a specialist area, but I apply for all sorts of jobs. I have experience working with clients, managing projects, educational marketing and managing exhibitions. I finished university in 1997 and after that I was always in employment. I have good references but it is finding the chances which is hard.”
Name: Danny Jackson
Lives: Darnall, Sheffield
Ideal job: Mechanic or gardener, working outdoors
Work history: Danny trained as a mechanic and worked with cars valeting after leaving school. In recent years he has only been able to find temporary work. He currently volunteers carrying out gardening work for a firm in Sheffield and would like to apply his newly-acquired green fingers to work outdoors. The father-of-one is expecting his second child and is keen to be a provider for his family.
Danny said: “I am a family man now. It’s been hard looking for work because nothing comes up or if it does it never lasts long. I’d love to work with my hands.
“I am fed up with not having a job. I love having a job and earning a wage and I want my kids to be able to see that their dad goes out to work.”
Name: Stephen Flaherty
Lives: Stocksbridge, Sheffield
Ideal job: Fork-lift truck operating, call centre work, bricklaying
Work history: Left school and completed a successful traineeship as a bricklayer but was let go after the company’s work dried up. He has gained a qualification in fork-lift truck operating and has experience of working in call centres in Sheffield. He had been poised for promotion before being let go from previous employer Santander.
Stephen said: “It’s frustrating because I paid to get my card and get the qualification but they won’t accept me because I don’t have the experience. I will never get experience unless someone gives me a chance.”